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European Leaders Mark 100 Years Since Start of WWI

  • VOA News

A wreath of poppies in memory of fallen soldiers is seen at Ramparts Cemetery in Ypres, Belgium, home of one of WWI's deadliest battles, June 25, 2014.

A wreath of poppies in memory of fallen soldiers is seen at Ramparts Cemetery in Ypres, Belgium, home of one of WWI's deadliest battles, June 25, 2014.

Despite political tensions over the selection of the European Commission's next leader, regional heads of state are in Ypres, Belgium, to mark a century since the start of the First World War.

The ceremony comes just two days before the 100 year anniversary of Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination in Sarajevo.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Francois Hollande will mark the occasion at the Menin Gate memorial in Ypres.

More than 50,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers were killed during World War I at Ypres.

Cameron has vocally opposed former Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Junker's bid to head the European Commission for the next five years.

The British prime minister says Junker's leadership would sway power toward the European Parliament. Cameron also says, the former prime minister is the wrong person to reform the European Commission.

Meanwhile, Merkel has vowed to advance Junker's nomination.

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